It is a magnificent bird; these pictures don't do it justice.
It sat there quietly, its head swiveling around, constantly looking for any motion that indicated lunch was available.
We got lucky - it saw something on the ground and took off in flight.
|En-route to Lunch|
Swooping down it scooped up a small creature.
And took it the top of a nearby house where, before doing anything else, it looked all around to make sure no other larger bird noticed its capture and might come along to take it away.
|Did anyone see that?|
Seeing that all was clear, it separated the animal from all the grass that came up with it in its talons.
|Cleaning the Wheat from the Chaff|
It then became apparent that it had selected a mouse for its lunch time meal.
It carefully positioned its fine cuisine in its claws for a flight to its dining spot.
|Preparing for Flight|
|With Lunch in the Cargo Bay|
|The First Course|
After that came the main course, gobbling up the rest of the beast.
Being very courteous, it spent a moment to clean up any scraps it spilled on the picnic table, and then flew back to its perch for an afternoon siesta.
The Snowy Owl is the largest - by weight - of the North American Owls. They spend their summers far north of the Arctic Circle, where they hunt rodents in 24-hour daylight. This must be what has adapted them to hunt in daylight hours during the winter rather than being nocturnal like our full-time resident owls. In the winter they migrate to the entire northern third of continental America, preferring large areas of open ground. I understand they have been observed around the Manchester Airport.
So that was my adventure with the Snowy Owl. With a touch of precipitation yesterday, I'm happy to say that the owls around Lake Wicwas are snowy also! There was just enough new snow to get out on the skis; tomorrow I'll post what I found out on Lake Wicwas this weekend.